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E3 2015 Hands-On: Mutant Mudds Super Challenge


Jonathan Higgins

It“s certainly no secret that I love Mutant Mudds. And it“s also no secret that I“m highly anticipating Mutant Mudds Super Challenge, a game built "for super players."

 

Ever since the game was initially announced, Renegade Kid promised to take Mudds veterans to task, while introducing more than one new twist in the gameplay. Once I heard Jools Watsham was going to be at E3, I decided I would play through the original Mutant Mudds and see if I could 100% the game during my initial flight into Los Angeles. I“m happy to report I succeeded. Rest assured, I am someone who has effectively mastered that game.

 

And Mutant Mudds: Super Challenge most definitely chewed me up and spit me out. Think of this game as the Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels of Mutant Mudds. The gameplay starts off naturally difficult, because it assumes players have at least some experience with the first game. Mutant Mudds teaches you Renegade Kid“s level design conventions. Super Challenge shows you ways those conventions can be turned on their head sometimes, often leaving you to curse out loud at the game“s tendency to be a little mean.

 

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The game picks up right where the first left off. After gathering absolutely everything in the first game, Max says he“s going to go off on his own to investigate some "new intel." His new quest brings him to a brand new hub world that feels absolutely refreshing and much more open than the first game, as though you're progressing towards some larger purpose rather than just completing levels and cleaning up muddy pests. I played one later level from each world, including the final one, as well as facing one of many bosses.

 

So, what“s changed? First and foremost, the diamonds you collect in each level as you progress to the end are much more cleverly hidden, or in particularly cruel spots. The first game sort of treated these collectibles as a path leading to the end of the level. In the case of Super Challenge, though, I can almost guarantee you won“t get all 100 on your first go...either because they“re too tricky to get to without a challenge, or because you“ll miss them at first, since you“re too focused on the chaos around you.

 

The overall presentation is much improved as well. The ice glistens with a sparkle effect. The game“s 3D now places Max behind clouds in the game“s sky levels instead of simply placing him on the foreground. Kind of feels like a slight nod to Mega Man. Level designs often follow various themes now, such as one of later ones being a mirrored reflection of itself that has you approach it from both the left and right sides. There are handfuls of small touches that will make you appreciate how much love Renegade Kid put into the experience. It really does feel like a stepping stone to Mutant Mudds 2. I wouldn“t be surprised if many of the stylings of this game made it into the sequel.

 

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What impressed me the most, though, was the boss I fought. Every third level in the game is a ghost level, like those found in Mutant Mudds Deluxe. And the boss I fought...was also a ghost! That meant you could only harm it (and the other enemies around it) with a ghost shot item limited to only ten uses. Hitting the boss was easy. But getting to him... ergo, defeating the many ghost Mudds that stood between me and the boss that involve tricky platforming to avoid — was another matter. Most boss battles would have you just shoot something until it dies. The boss battle I experienced cleverly meshed tricky Mutant Mudds platforming with combat.

 

Want to take up the challenge for yourself? There's a demo of Mutant Mudds Super Challenge on the eShop right now! The game will be released this summer. Do check out Renegade Kid“s official site for more information on this game, Dementium Remastered, and more!

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